Started my last morning off packing and dropping the luggage at airline check in then carryons with bell services before boarding a bus to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Arrived at the park and choose to cancel my River Journey FastPass and instead trek out to Gorilla Falls to see what was going on. While enroute shifted my Kilimanjaro Safari earlier so I could walk right onto that after seeing the gorillas. After my Safari decided to grab an early lunch at Pizzafari (some went over to Asia to grab something) then took a look at the weather and decided to try and squeeze in a couple quick construction pictures before the storms arrived. So set off for Caribbean Beach Resort and had my own bus (the rest of my group returned to Pop Century to avoid the rain). I walked along the trail at Caribbean Beach Resort and took some pictures of the Skyliner and Riviera Construction as it started to drizzle. The skies opened to I hung out in the lobby to let the storm pass. Then walked out to see the Skyliner station quickly before the next cell arrived. Made it to the bus stop just before the big down pour came. The bus driver pulled really close to minimize getting soaked and I boarded a bus to the Studios. I arrived and the storm let up to a steady rain so I made a quick walk down to see the new entrance area and as the rain picked up I walked very quickly back to the bus stop and caught one back to Pop Century. Met the rest of my group, changed clothes and then headed out to catch the Magical Express Bus back to MCO and then my flight home.
Thoughts & Observations:
- The final morning of the trip started off with the normal ritual of packing up and dropping the luggage and carryons. The Airline checkin line was relatively short with only 3 or 4 groups in front of us and three cast members working but it still took a while. Of course our checkin was a challenge. Seems Delta changed the flight number since we put in for the Magical Express and that slowed everything down and they had to re-enter all our information manually. Then to top it off the system kept saying two of us had the same name.. when the only part the same was our last name. First, middle and room number were all different. This really stumped the cast members for a while as they tried to get the system to take our names. Eventually a second person tried and got the system to work and we were checked in.
- Since we had visited all the parks and attractions on our lists, today the plan was to hang out at the Animal Kingdom for a while and try and stay out of the rain that was forecasted for later in the day. Ended up skipping our River Journey FastPass+ in Pandora (cancelled it so hopefully made some other guest happy with a last minute find).
- Spent some time in Harambe checking out Gorilla Falls and then a Safari. The young meerkats were out running around. No sign of Grace, the baby gorilla, this time through. Out on the savanna it was interesting.. there was a male elephant in the main area and the rest were not out yet.
- After lunch decided to pay a quick visit to Caribbean Beach Resort to get some construction pictures. I ended up having my own bus for the trip over. As I was walking around taking pictures the rain decided to show up a couple hours early! Had a great bus driver when I left, she pulled up almost under the overhang so you could stay mostly dry to board.
- The Riviera Resort is moving toward completion later this year. Some scaffolding is down so you can see the final coloration and look. The tower looks very out of place on the shore opposite the bright lower building of the Caribbean Beach Resort. It seems like it really should have been built elsewhere or taken a different look/theme to work better in the area. The French Riviera next to the Caribbean makes little sense.
- The Disney Skyliner system was testing with gondolas on the Epcot line. It was interesting to see so many in view and in motion. Once they are uncovered and in motion it will be a sight.
- Made a very quick (spent less than 10 minutes off the bus) stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to check out the new entry area. This morning they opened the new tram stop and first phase of the new bag check. The area looked/felt huge. The construction walls have shifted to the right of the entrance around the former bag check and planter area. All of which will be removed and the new bag check structure extended across. The walk from the Disney Bus stop seems substantial, especially in the rain like this morning. The tram walk and some parking spaces are closer.
- Made it back to Pop Century about 45 minutes early (I wanted to allow plenty of time with the weather and had some good bus luck). Since we were ready we went outside and asked if we could board the earlier bus, so we left about 30 minutes early, figuring what’s the difference of sitting at the airport or in Everything Pop!
- The TSA checkpoint at MCO was busy as usual with the regular line being 20-30 minutes. It took about 10 minutes to get through the pre-check line.
- The flight home was uneventful. I was able to watch a movie and get some sleep. The plane was there but we boarded late and slow and left a little late. Still arrived into LAX a few minutes early.
- LAX was very busy as usual with several flights sharing a baggage carousel and the ones next to it unused. Outside there is plenty of construction and traffic was really congested thanks to this. The new Automated People Mover (APM) cannot come quick enough. The plan is to build a system to ferry travelers to offsite stops for rental cars, shuttles and parking. The goal is to remove a lot of traffic from the roadway within the airport. It is planned to be operation in 2023.
- Even with the bad traffic at the airport we lucked out with shuttle timing and traffic on the freeway on the way home and made it home about 2 hours after touching down.. for LAX and the distance we live from the airport that is faster than usual.
Pedometer Information for the day:
Addition Blog Picture Posts from today: